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Capitol Correspondence - 08.11.20

Senate Democrats Call for Medicaid to be Strengthened During the Pandemic

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Following the advocacy of readers like you and national organizations such as ANCOR, Democratic and Independent Senators sent two letters showing support for Medicaid providers during the pandemic. These letters included references to programs that support people with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the community.

The letters include:

  • A caucus-wide call to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to take the necessary steps to strengthen the broader Medicaid program, enhance safety in nursing homes and invest in home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs. HCBS programs fund the majority of supports for people with I/DD.
  • A recommendation to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to issue revised policies surrounding retainer payments to Medicaid providers that have had to temporarily close their doors due to the pandemic, so as to ensure they can remain in business. Currently, pandemic-related retainer payments to certain Medicaid-funded supports are set to expire, and already have done so in some states. Following this recommendation would allow these vital community supports, such as employment and day services, to resume safely after the pandemic.